For Immediate Release - June 14, 2011

Grossman Urges Funding For Teacher Training

Treasurer Steven Grossman today stressed the importance of equipping public school educators with the training and tools that will best allow them to incorporate financial literacy for students into their existing teaching curriculum.

"On a daily basis, a single teacher can interact with hundreds of students, making them one of the best means to instill basic money management skills in kids at a young age," said Grossman. "Teaching financial literacy to these students early on will give them practical lessons that will help them achieve and sustain long-term financial stability throughout their lives."

Grossman made his comments before the Joint Committee on Education at a hearing on a series of bills on financial literacy. The Treasurer previously worked with the Legislature to advance a bill that was recently signed into law by Governor Patrick creating the Financial Literacy Trust Fund, a board chaired by Grossman that will seek private funding to instill financial planning skills in segments of society that have historically been underserved in this area. The Trust Fund board is presently being assembled and should be in place later this summer.

A national survey conducted by the University of Wisconsin found that only one in five teachers believe they are adequately prepared to teach financial literacy. With proper training, Grossman said, teachers would be the best messengers to reinforce the merits of financial literacy with young people with a nominal amount of funding.

In his testimony, the Treasurer said that math and social science classes would likely provide the best frameworks for financial education training. He said that a thoughtful incorporation of financial literacy in school curriculum would advance his goal of teaching the discipline at all grade levels without imposing an additional unfunded mandate on school systems.

Grossman has made financial literacy a priority in his administration, noting that, "kids need it, veterans need it, senior citizens need it, and single moms need it." Last week, the Treasurer passed out awards to 19 Massachusetts students who achieved a perfect score on the National Financial Capability Challenge, a 30-minute financial literacy exam that was taken by over 2,600 students across Massachusetts earlier this year.